Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
~ John 15:13 (NIV)
Jesus says the ultimate test of true love is the willingness to die for others—especially your friends. Of course, He personally demonstrated this Himself in giving His life on the cross for you and me. And today He continues to call those who follow Him to make this sacrifice as well. This classic war zone missionary story illustrates the point:
The mortar rounds landed in an orphanage run by missionaries. The missionaries and one or two children were killed outright and several more children were wounded including one girl about eight years old.
The medical staff who arrived to help soon realized that the young girl was the most critically injured. Without quick action she would die from shock and loss of blood.
When explained to the other children that a blood transfusion was imperative, the request for a blood donor met with wide-eyed silence.
Then one small hand went up and a young boy volunteered. He was quickly laid on a pallet, his arm swabbed with alcohol, and the needle inserted into his vein.
Through the ordeal, he lay stiff and silent but continued to sob later turning into steady, silent crying. The medical team kept asking if it was hurting but he would shake his head and continue to cry.
After a while the boy stopped crying, opened his eyes and looked questioningly at the nurse who took the needle out of his arm. When she nodded, a look of great relief spread over his face.
The boy had all along thought he was dying. He misunderstood, thinking that he was to give ALL his blood so the other little girl could live. And she was his friend.
RESPONSE: Jesus calls me today to show sacrificial love—especially for those I consider friends.
PRAYER: Pray that this depth of love will become a reality in the church of Jesus Christ and in your life.